12 comments on “Shakeup on My Favorite Actresses List

  1. Oddly enough, in the last year I’ve come to appreciate Meena Kumari a lot, too! Only in my case it was her poetry recital in Benazir. She has a lovely, lovely, voice and her Urdu diction is subhaan-allah (superb). I vaguely remember hearing recordings of her poetry recitals in my childhood but didnt really “discover” them till very recently. I am not much into poetry and dont even follow pure Urdu very well, but somehow the combination of her voice and Urdu is just pure magic!

    Love the video of Jab badal lehraya – I tend to forget that Shyama was a good dancer too, and seriously gorgeous – somehow her evil daughter-in-law roles and later character roles stay with me more.

    And hey, you dont have to justify your (totally understandable) preferences by taking a dig at female bloggers. Considering how much time and effort men have put into objectifying women over millenia, we female bloggers cant hope to redress the balance in a few years of constant blogging – no matter how much “eye-candy” we look at! ;-)

  2. Bollyviewer, that’s interesting. I haven’t seen Benazir (need to do a little more catching up on the Meena movies now). I agree that Meena had a really nice voice, and I like the sound of Urdu (too bad I never did get to learn any), so if/when I find this movie, I’ll keep an eye out for that recital.

    Re, Shyama, well, I don’t really know much about these other roles you’re mentioning. She was an evil character in Bhai-Bhai but still seriously gorgeous and good at the role; plus, Geeta Dutt did very nicely (here too) as her singing voice.

    Re. the final point, any “dig” taken at female bloggers of course wasn’t intended seriously, neither do I have any serious desire to discuss the issue much more. :)

  3. Cram, thanks. Actually, I’ve done two posts on favorite dance competitions… One was “six favorite dance competitions,” which I posted a few months ago (and changed a little since). The other is a slightly different “five favorite dance competitons” list which is in my “Filmi Favorites” page, indicated by a tab above the image header at the top of the blog. This competition occupies the same place in both lists: absolutely number one! :)

  4. Hi Richard

    Of course, that was just in case :) It has to be no. 1 on any dance contest list. Awesome composition. Not many people know that the music was composed by C Ramchandra, the famous Bollywood guy who gave such hits as Shola jo bhadke and Meri jaan sunday ke sunday.

  5. Another one, just in case you haven’t stumbled upon it yet :) My all-time favorite Waheeda scintillates, as always, in this breathtaking display of dance that’s classical and folksy at the same time. Hisss!

  6. Thank you. Actually, I don’t remember viewing this. My YouTube friend Tommydan1 once mentioned Guide as an all-time favorite (I haven’t seen it yet myself; I really should)… So, I kind of expected that he would have a high-quality copy of this dance too:

    Waheeda’s dancing here is very good.

    One day I should post a list of snake dances… Also include Vyjayanthimala (I’ve already posted most of the dances from Nagin), Sridevi, and – if I ever could find a clip of it – the famous snake dance of Kamala Lakshman.

  7. Oh, and re. C. Ramchandra – the composer of the soundtrack to Navrang! Now there’s some fine music, with delightful classical dancing by Sandhya.

  8. Guide is truly one of the best Indian films ever made. I never tire of watching it. Mind-blowing music and dance. You ought to get a copy.

  9. I like your favourites list, most lists seem to have basically the same people in it but in a different order. So I guess it is sometimes a case of if you like apples or oranges better. I posted a clip of an old Filmfare awards on memsaab’s blog, and I think in many later films she was over made-up. In the clip, in her more natural look, she looks absolutely stunning and I understood why my elders would call her “ehni sohni” (so beautiful=sohni)

    And I agree with you about her personal life: I do not think we are in any position to pass judgement about people’s lives and choices. As long as it is not causing actual harm to some other vulnerable human being, there is nothing to criticise.

    I would recommend a lot of Jaya B films: Guddi, Uphaar, Koshish, Bawarchi, Mili, Zanjeer, etc. etc. There are few films of her that one could call a waste of time. I remembered Mili as a tear-jerker (a good one) from when I first saw it as young girl and have since avoided it but saw it a couple of months ago and saw it in an entirely new light. Beautifully done, and such a touching performance and romance…some really powerful scenes. HQSupreme has some of them with good subtitles on youtube.

    Shyama features in many Punjabi films of the type I sent you, had you noticed?

    I think you will have your work cut-out trying to see all the stuff on your list. Happy viewing :)

  10. Hi, Bawa. Yes, I assumed my list would be similar to most but with a difference in the order… I did wonder, though, if I should make the “Best Actresses” list include more actresses from Tamil films and Telugu films, etc. I’ve appreciated performances by Savitri and other Tamil actresses, but their films aren’t as accessable as the Hindi ones since it’s more difficult to find a full movie with subs in those languages while the Hindi stuff exists in abundance almost in my backyard and it’s also so much at the center of the Bollywood bloggers’ discussions (which I guess it should be, since it is Bollywood blogging that we’re doing mostly). Among Telugu actresses, I have appreciated Jamuna’s performance in a couple of films (one of them a Hindi film, actually), but I’ve only seen her do very light/comic roles – though that shouldn’t prevent me from listing her, considering that I listed Johnny Walker with the actors; but with the actresses, as I’ve said, narrowing it down to ten is difficult. (I also love seeing Noor Jehan in anything, but as we know, that’s more for her singing and her general persona than her acting per se. And I haven’t yet been able to find a full film with her that also had subs.)

    So, anyway, those are some reasons why my actresses list really is very similar (after all) to ones that you might find from other fans of classic Bollywood…

    Was Shyama in any of the actual clips that you sent me? If so, I’ll have to look again. I was just very recently impressed by her performance in Barsaat Ki Raat. I found both her character and performance to be more sympathetic, even, than Madhubala’s. I did a short writeup of the film in which I praised Shyama but I never posted it; for some reason, I just wasn’t exactly happy with the writeup and I never got around to revising it. Then after I saw that, I said to myself, wait a minute, she was that great villain in Bhai-Bhai too. There was also some stuff recommended to me by Tommydan1 (whose site and recommendations probably influenced me a lot with the actresses list). So, I am basically new to Shyama fandom; I’ve really just started to take notice when she appears in stuff.

    Thanks for concurring re. Meena Kumari. It’s funny that you should mention Memsaab’s blog too, because some of what I said was partially in reaction to some unkind stuff that Memsaab had said about the later Meena. (No, I don’t always agree with Memsaab, but I’m already getting antsy about her absence, and I’ll be glad when she’s back and her blog gets back to its usual pace again. :)

    Re. Jaya B. films… Yes, Guddi was very good! I watched that one online a while ago, probably as posted by HQSupreme. I might have watched Barwachi; I saw some of Koshish (or maybe that’s the other way around…). She was also excellent in Sholay (which had some very good things about it and then other things that I haven’t been all that crazy about, especially in retrospect).

    Regarding the list of stuff that I have yet to see… Where is that list? Do you mean, just from seeing all the clips I’ve posted and all the stuff that I’ve said I’d like to see?

    Just to make sure there isn’t any confusion… My “Favorite Movies” list consists of movies with subs that I have seen, some more than once. These are really a fraction (one third? one fourth?) of all the movies I’ve watched since my Indian movies obsessions started (though that wasn’t really too long ago). Of course, there are many more that I need to see, but assuming I eventually find everything, and have time and money for all of it (or have money for most of it and am happily finding the rest online), this is actually “work” that I can look forward to. :)
    P.S. By the way, I think I have spent a lot more time just watching song-and-dance clips from movies than watching full movies – who knows how many hundreds of those clips I’ve seen?!

  11. I often see that you say i must see more of this or that actress in your write-ups: that is why I think you have this enormously long list of films to watch somewhere around!

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